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  • Dean Bainbridge

Kinda Zen In Twenty

I once met a corporate communications expert on her way to a silent retreat in a Buddhist monastery.

At first I was troubled by that... Here's a person whose profession relies on interaction through verbal exchange on a variety of complex levels. She's finding inspiration in a ten day vow of silence? Seriously?

She looks very zen.

In hindsight it makes perfect sense. After some contemplation, I was even a little enchanted by the concept, but could I really commit to that? I don’t think so.

So, because this is, I ask the question... what does it take to start forming a habit of mindfulness?

A vow of silence? Tough. Shave your head? Hardcore. Quit your job and move to a log cabin? So tempting but not exactly practical.

What about a little meditation in the morning? On the bus. Just a few minutes. Now you’re talking. Oh, and what about some yoga or stretching? Can do.

A walk at lunch time or a jog on the treadmill at the gym? Fairly achievable.

How about a solo coffee break where you don't chat or check your phone? Sure.

What about a good conversation with someone where you mindfully withhold that clever anecdote and let the talker finish their point uninterrupted? Oh, yeah. That's easy.

The good news is all of those things are helping you be mindful. If you're doing half those things you're already in training... and you didn't even know it! You’re working out your zen tendons and building up your compassion core. Like a lot of health and lifestyle programs and apps suggest, you can commit to a bite size daily workout and see consistent results in no time.

Twenty minutes. That's all it takes. Just twenty minutes a day. It’s easy to culminate those activities across an entire day.

Try it. No vow of silence. No head shaving. Just some daily kindness to yourself and others and you can be a Twenty Minute Monk.

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